Planning Commission Holds Creative Economy Meeting
On a Sunday afternoon, June 1st, more than a dozen town artisans and business people spent two hours with the Planning Commission, facilitator Kathy Letendre, and Ed Bove from the Rutland Regional Planning Commission to brainstorm ideas on how to help Middletown Springs grow and promote the local economy.
The group started by sharing their ideas on four main topics; town assets, needs, challenges and goals. Assets included the town’s natural beauty, diversity of talented artists and business people, including artists, musicians, writers, and specialty foods and farms. Needs that were identified included creating a governance for planning, marketing, organization, bringing money in from out of town, and having a clear image and vision. Challenges included location, time, resources, attracting return visitors, effective communication. Goals included creating a supportive infrastructure for economic growth, effectively articulating the Middletown Springs “vibe”, creating a positive image and fostering pride and enthusiasm.
The group had a lively discussion about the types of growth they thought appropriate for Middletown Springs and what they’ve seen or admired in other places. In the end the group seemed to agree that with some help and guidance and a strong group of interested stakeholders, Middletown Springs has the potential to strengthen the local economy.
The next steps to move forward were established as follows:
- Form a core group of business owners who want to be involved and who also see themselves as offering some special service and/or product.
- Share the information more formally with the group present as well as those who were invited but were not able to attend.
- Inventory current data as well as past data to get a sense of the town’s general demographics as well as its business demographics.
Anyone who owns their own business in Middletown Springs and who is interested in growing and promoting the local economy is welcome to join in the discussion. Contact a Planning Commission member for more information on this new community project. Members are
John Arsenault: 235-9338 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Hurcomb: 235-9299 or email@example.com
Maureen McCormack: 235-1245 or firstname.lastname@example.org